Stepping Out
Pete Townsend, Kevin Mayhew, 2001

£7.99 (Approx)
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Overview

What does it say on the tin?

A Lent resource. Stepping Out takes you on a journey to the cross and beyond. The period leading up to the crucifixion was a time in which Jesus firmly established who he was and why he was here.

The journey starts with the baptism of Jesus, as we follow his steps towards the cross. We follow his verbal duel with the devil, we watch as he slowly reveals who he is, we get to know him a little better as he spends time with his friends. After a display of anger at the Temple, we hear him talk about his early death; we stand in awe at his entry into Jerusalem and then stand bowed as his talk of death becomes a reality and finally rejoice in his resurrection. In the end, we realise that the journey has only just begun as Peter steps in to remind us about God’s love for everyone.

What do you get?

A4 booklet. Each unit is divided into six sections:

  1. Planning the journey: introduces the Bible reading and main theme
  2. Starting out: gives an idea for activities which may help focus the group on the theme
  3. On the road: an introduction and link to the teaching, using some ideas for worship songs
  4. Driving: is the main teaching bit with further ideas and guidelines for sharing
  5. Clocking up the miles: provides some more ideas for discussion and thought
  6. Further on up the road: offers suggestions for reflection and prayer

Topics covered include:

  • Getting wet (The baptism of Jesus)
  • If! (Jesus and the devil)
  • Going down a storm (A storm)
  • Doh! (The true glory of Jesus)
  • This will hurt me more than it hurts you! (Jesus speaks about his suffering and death)
  • You what? (Turn back to God)
  • A man’s gotta do … (Jesus and Herod)
  • So what are you gonna do? (Two sons)
  • Causing a bit of a stir! (Jesus in the Temple)
  • What’s that smell? (At Bethany)
  • To die is to live (Jesus predicts his death)
  • Jesus finds a donkey (Jesus enters Jerusalem)
  • A bit of a do (The Lord’s Supper)
  • You must be seeing things! (Jesus is alive)
  • Lock that door! (Jesus appears to his disciples)
  • Every shape, size, colour and hue (Peter reports to the Church in Jerusalem)

Stepping Out is a journey of reflection, amazement and wonder. It’s a time to examine God’s love as revealed in his Son. It’s also a time to recognise that Jesus ‘stepped out’ and gave his life for each of us, which gives us the opportunity to accept the challenge of ‘stepping out’ of our comfort zone and demonstrate God’s love to the world.

Who is it for?

Youth, beginning, growing, enquiring

Review

  • What is the overall quality of material presentation?

    Creative short sessions around stories from the build up to the Easter events. Some rather dated material but good pace and ideas which could be easily adapted.

    How clear are its aims and outcomes?

    Slightly mysterious – layout is clear, icons are clear (if dated), but no instructions as to how to fit the 16 short sessions into Lent...

    How accessible are the leader's notes?

    See aims and outcomes. Easy to follow material in three pages of notes per session. Some timings given, though some look a little ambitious and sections may take longer than suggested. Each session follows through well, and has a good pace despite this. Sessions finish with reflection/prayer that picks up and brings together the theme. See above for sections of each session. Main challenge is how to fit the 16 sessions in to Lent – or how to choose which ones to use.

    Who could lead it?

    A confident youth leader.

    How helpful are the participants' resources?

    N/A

    How good is any digital material?

    N/A

    How much prep will I have to do?

    Choosing which session and preparing the activities; deciding on relevant worship music if the suggested songs are too dated for your group.

    Is there website support? Links?

    N/A

  • How well does it encourage interaction with the group?

    Some very good ‘Starting out' activities; some very good questions for honest reactions to situations. Song suggestions may well be very out of date for some – for others, Graham Kendrick and Noel Richards may still be favourites.

    How well does it cater for a variety of both learning and delivery styles?

    Good mix of activity, listening, participating, reflecting, praying – should hold the attention of many youth groups. Activities are a major feature.

    How adaptable is it to my situation?

    Should suit a good variety of youth groups, and encourage them to think about big issues, as long as they are prepared to engage. Leader may have to slant the tone to update it but there are some enduring ideas. They may also want to summarise the input section after the Bible reading, even though it is not too long, or turn it into more questions. Adaptable anyway.

    How well does it encourage people to work together in applying the material?

    Interactive and thoughtful; some sessions encourage good personal responses.

  • How much of the material is Bible-based?

    Each session is based on a biblical story, building up to Easter and beyond. Bizarre omission of a session focused on the cross. Material jumps from Last Supper to Resurrection.

    How well is the biblical material presented and used?

    Mostly very well, with a good single focus on each story that is read out. Bible story follows the song and the input afterwards explores the theme – discussion questions pick up from these.

    How well does it apply biblical material to everyday life?

    Helpful follow-on questions that bring together the biblical and the personal.

    Is there a particular theological perspective?

    Evangelical.

  • How well does it inspire people towards whole-life discipleship?

    Good range of topics, none of which are laboured but rather dipped into in creative ways.

    How well does it encourage and enable people to grow in their faith?

    Despite the omission of the events of Good Friday, the issues raised by the Bible passages are explored helpfully and relevantly.

    How well does it stretch faith and vision of God and his purposes?

    Helps group to engage with the biblical material and consider a wide range of implications.

    How well does it connect with real life issues?

    Mostly realistic about youth concerns and common emotions and reactions to situations and challenges. Encourages honesty. Supplied prayer helps to apply the material personally. Linked into contemporary situations as well as biblical.

  • How well does it encourage personal evangelism?

    Not a focus.

    How well does it encourage local or network-based community involvement?

    Not a focus

    How well does it connect with global issues?

    Where relevant, questions are asked to prompt consideration of these.

    How well does it encourage global mission?

    The last session centres on God's challenge to Peter to take the Good News to the Gentiles too.

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